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Historic football sponsorship deal announced in Sheffield

Thu 14th Jul 2011 | Football Sponsorship

A groundbreaking sponsorship deal - the first of its kind in the history of British football - has been struck in Sheffield.

League One clubs Sheffield United Football Club and Sheffield Wednesday Football Club today announced at a joint news conference that they will share headline sponsors for the forthcoming season (2011/12) in a collaborative ‘twin sponsorship’ featuring two of Sheffield’s most recognised business names.

The deal, which has been called ‘Supporting Sheffield’, will see the Steel City rivals sponsored by Westfield Health, one of the UK’s leading not for profit health insurance providers, and the Gilder Group, one of the oldest motoring dealerships in the country with substantial outlets in Sheffield, Rotherham, Chesterfield, Doncaster and Newark.

The two sponsors will have a ‘home team’ and ‘away team’, with the Gilder Group appearing on the front of Sheffield Wednesday’s shirt when they wear their home strip and Sheffield United’s when the Blades wear their away strip.

Westfield Health will appear on the front of Sheffield United’s shirt when the Blades play in their home strip and on the Owls’ shirt when they play in their away strip.

The announcement was made by club officials and representatives of the sponsors at the Adelphi Room of the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield – the location where both clubs were originally formed in the 19th century. 

Sheffield Wednesday Chairman Milan Mandaric said: “This is an exciting partnership for all concerned and will further develop as the season progresses.

“I am new to this city but have quickly recognised the importance of working with two organisations who are Sheffield through and through.”

Sheffield United Chairman Kevin McCabe said: “Sheffield is very proud of its footballing heritage and with this deal the city has added yet another first to the history books.

“Sheffield United are eagerly anticipating working with two such reputable Sheffield-based companies, who we know well, in the season ahead.”

Garry Scotting, Managing Director of Gilder Group, said: “We are delighted to be supporting both clubs and to be part of a deal that has brought together four such quality and iconic Sheffield brands.

“We have been supporting Sheffield football through various means since the 1960s. Our ‘vision’ is to see the Blades and the Owls back where they belong in the top flight, which aligns with our own aspirations as a Car Dealer Group, as we are in the Top 50 in The UK.”

Jill Davies, Chief Executive of Westfield Health, said: “Having worked with both clubs for almost 50 years, we are thrilled to be part of such a groundbreaking deal. This is an opportunity to support not just the football clubs, but the city and the people of Sheffield, too.

“From our Sheffield roots over 90 years ago, Westfield Health has grown to become one of the leading health insurers in the UK and is delighted to be supporting the clubs and community which helped Westfield become all that it is today. We look forward to sharing in both clubs’ success during the exciting season ahead.” 

Sheffield Chamber of Commerce President Yuri Matischen, who outlined some of the details of the deal to the media and guests, said: “This sums up everything that is great about Sheffield, bringing together enterprise on one hand and sport on the other.”

Players from both clubs modelled the four kits at the unique launch which was attended by club representatives, club ambassadors Tony Currie and David Hirst, sponsors and guests from business and sport.

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